As a Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, Dr. Bart Ehrman is well-regarded in the area of New Testament textual criticism. He has written many books and given many lectures on the topic. He even participated in a debate in early 2009 with Dr. James White on the topic of the reliability of the NT manuscripts.
Dr. Ehrman’s recent fascination is with the final book of the NT: the book of Revelation. He is currently working on a book of his own that deals directly with the message presented in John’s Apocalypse and the interpretations of it by many modern Christians.
On his blog, Dr. Ehrman wrote the following:
I’ve started, in previous posts, by providing some of the important background information about the Revelation — a summary of its contents (what’s actually in it); a discussion of its literary genre (“apocalypse”) and how that’s important for discussing the book; the reasons for thinking that its symbolism has to be interpreted in light of what its first-century author and first-century readers would have known and thought, rather than as hidden messages for Christians living in the 21st century (or the 20th, or 19th, or 18th – pick your century when interpreters thought it was referring to events of their own time!); and sundry other background materials (when it was written, by whom, etc.). (Source)
It should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with Gary DeMar and American Vision, that this is precisely our view of the way the book of Revelation (and the entire Bible for that matter) should be read and understood. The Revelation to the Apostle John on Patmos was “revealing” events—through signs and symbols—that were “soon” to take place (see Rev. 1:3 and 22:6, 20).
A Beginner's Guide to Interpreting Bible Prophecy
For many Christians, interpreting Bible prophecy is a complicated task. As a result, they often turn to so-called Bible experts and complicated charts that include gaps in time, outrageous literal interpretations, and numerous claims that current events are prime indicators that the end is near. Many Christians are unaware that the same Bible passages have been used in nearly every generation as ‘proof’ that the end or some aspect of the end (the ‘rapture’) would take place in their generation. They’ve all had one thing in common: They’ve all been wrong.Buy Now
On this episode of The Gary DeMar Podcast, Gary discusses a recent video by Dr. Ehrman. If the video is any indication, Professor Ehrman will be taking issue with modern interpretations of Revelation, mostly informed by 200 years of Dispensationalism and the Rapture. Gary points out that the preterist interpretation of Bible prophecy doesn’t appear to be a part of Ehrman’s research.